MARCH 16, 1951
HYDE PARK, Thursday—Yesterday was a rainy day, but it was not cold and the dogs and I got a walk in the woods before it began to rain really hard. Then in the afternoon we went out and walked in the rain, for all of us needed the exercise.
When the roads begin to get muddy and the snow lies only in little patches here and there, I begin to look for little green shoots, the first signs of spring. In a sheltered spot under some evergreens I came across what I think is a daffodil or a narcissus plant poking its green leaves up through the earth.
Everyone who cares about their wooded area must be a little sad this spring because of the damage done by last November's storm, followed by the heavy snow and ice of the winter. We won't be able to clear away all the debris, but I notice that even on the parkway the state hasn't completely remedied all the damage the surrounding area suffered.
I think it will be enlightening to a great many people if they will read Nathan Leites' "The Operational Code of the Politburo." This is a study of the ruling group of the Soviet Union which to most of us is shrouded in mystery. It was written in an effort to help us understand how the minds of the men in the Politburo work, what their goals are, and what they believe must be done to achieve these goals. The parts that impressed me most were the quotations from Lenin and Stalin. Somehow those quotations seem to bear so little relationship to the world in which we live today that one wonders if intelligent men feel they are valid as guides to the future.
Mr. Leites' work is one of the research projects sponsored by the Rand Corporation, a non-profit organization chartered "to further and promote scientific, education and charitable purposes, all for the public welfare and security of the United States of America". Published by the McGraw Hill Company, the book is pronounced to be "a systematic analysis of the political strategy of communism and the rules by which it operates."
I do not know how many of my readers like dictionaries but I am always fascinated by them. Now there is one called, "Words," which has just come to my desk, edited by Charles P. Chadsey, William Morris and Harold Wentworth.
Also, I have in my library a variety of books that help me to learn various languages and I have always been trying to improve my French or my Spanish or my Italian or my German. However, I have practically no books that would help me to learn English if I were a foreigner coming to our shores. Now I have just received a volume by which Spanish-speaking people can study English according to the Berlitz method at home. I must say I find it interesting. The spelling pronunciations are really amusing and well done. I think I shall try to see if this book will help me learn Spanish just as well as it will help a Spanish-speaking person to learn English.